The list of benefits offered by spicy food is long and intriguing.
Taking a bite of spicy food is an exhilarating culinary experience, and according to Health Magazine, there are a number of health benefits associated with eating spicy foods. And while doesn't mean you should force yourself to eat that hot pepper next time you go out for dinner, the list of benefits offered by spicy food is long and intriguing.
Here are some of the biggest health perks:
1. A healthier body
One of the biggest benefits of eating spicy food is the potential for better cardiovascular health. Scientists have found that cultures with the spiciest cuisine tend to have much lower rates of heart attack and stroke, according to Health Magazine. This may be because the active ingredients in spicy food help to reduce damage caused by cholesterol while also reducing inflammation.
Hot sauce and other spicy add-ons may also encourage some folks to eat more vegetables and other healthy foods, Self reported. Likewise, many veggies that are naturally hot are full of vitamin A and C. Spicy food may also be effective in promoting weight loss. A compound found in chilies called capsaicin has been shown to help the body burn extra calories. Capsaicin has also been linked to good sinus health and may promote better blood flow.
2. Lower instances of cancer
Researchers at Harvard University working with the American Association for Cancer Research found that eating spicy food was linked with reduced rates of cancer. Capsaicin may work to kill cancerous and leukemic cells. Likewise, curry, tumeric, mustard seed and even pepper have been shown to slow the spread of certain cancers and tumors.
Capsaicin and other active ingredients in chilies and other spicy foods are known to promote weight loss and reduce blood pressure and inflammation, all of which can be factors in preventing many types of cancer. The discovery of properties that explicitly interact with cancerous cells is further testament to how beneficial spicy food may be.
Outside of a long list of ways spicy food may promote good health, Self found that recipes containing plenty of hot spices can actually promote mental wellness. Hormones such as serotonin may reduce depression or stress, and eating spicy food boosts the body's natural production of these beneficial substances.
Health Magazine reported that folks who don't like spicy food or have a tough time tolerating high heat can slowly learn to incorporate healthy spices into a diet. Adding even a small amount of red pepper, cumin, coriander or any other spice to a dish can offer a bit of capsaicin without overwhelming the palate. There are creative ways to add a bit of spice to your day without setting your taste buds on fire. Try a dash of cayenne pepper in your tea or adding black pepper to grilled veggies.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living